What does “ready for marriage” mean to you?

posted 1 year ago in Engagement
Post # 16
Member
345 posts
Helper bee

This is actually a good question and I’ve never really thought about it. For the record, we were 29/35 when we got married and had been together for about 5 years. 

We had talked about it loosely over the years, but there was never really a burning desire to make it concrete. We decided to get married in the middle of a lot of upheaval (I had just quit my job to start a business & Darling Husband was in full-time study after deciding to change careers), our finances were hugely entwined (and dwindling) and we were under quite a lot of stress. 

So logically it wasn’t a good time, but emotionally, I think we had both (together and individually) worked out that we were ready – we had weathered bad times together, made sacrifices for one another, gone through family & addiction problems, career changes, financial difficulties, worked out that we share the same views on important life issues (religion, money, politics, kids, etc) & we were in a good and happy place in our relationship (despite the life stresses). A big one for both of us was also being able to be completely vulnerable with one another and accepting the other for who they are (with their flaws and all).

I guess we were both just at a point were we were happy and content together and marriage was just the cherry on the icing. (And for various practical reasons, I really wanted to be his next of kin ASAP.)

Post # 17
Member
718 posts
Busy bee

I think a lot of it is how well do you know who you are? Art of the reason a lot of people urge waiting until your thirties is that most of us find we changed a LOT during earlier periods of our lives, in ways that changed the partners who were right for us.

Post # 18
Member
704 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

Ready for marriage… I can’t claim to really know how and when I knew. With my first boyfriend there was a lot of marriage talk, we had made so many plans, set a date (far in the future) but when I got the impression he might want to propose soon, I broke up. Pretty sure sign I wasn’t ready. With my now-husband, there was no wobbling about. We got together and it felt RIGHT from day one. We didn’t hurry too much, got engaged after a bit more than 3 years and married after just over 4 years. Everybody kept asking if I was nervous and I wasn’t nervous for a second. Saying yes just made sense, complete sense. I also don’t feel different now that we’re married. 

Post # 20
Member
603 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

I knew very early on in our relationship that I was ready to marry my now husband.

I got engaged at 22 to someone else, and we never should have gotten engaged, partly because we were too young and very immature. It just seemed like the logical next step in our relationship since we had been together for over 4 years. Looking back, I was way more caught up in the whole pomp and circumstance of throwing a wedding and all the glitz and glamour that went into it, I’m not really sure what I expected to happen after all the fun wedding stuff was over.

I ended up calling that wedding off for a whole host of other reasons (he turned out to be horribly abusive) and was single for a couple of years before I met my now husband. I realized I was ready to marry him when I knew in my heart I’d be just fine marrying him at city hall and forgoing all the glamourous wedding stuff.

P.S. – I really wanted that simple city hall wedding, but he wanted a big wedding with all of our family and friends, so I eventually compromised and we had a small/medium 80 person wedding. It was perfect, and I’m so glad I let him talk me into it, but to this day I know I would have been just has happy with just the two of us.

Post # 21
Member
206 posts
Helper bee

View original reply
PinkCat :  I also knew I would marry my fiance from early in our relationship. There’s plenty of practical things to consider when being ready for marriage but the old saying “when you know, you know” also holds truth. And I’m with you on wanting a city hall wedding. In my ideal situation we would elope but he really wants a wedding so we’re having a small one.

Post # 22
Member
1378 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

I have always wanted a family so I was ready to be in the relationship that I hoped would lead to marriage by my mid-20s. That biggest thing was that I was ready to give to someone out without regret. It meant I wouldn’t regret the guy at the bar I didn’t kiss or the trip I didn’t take so we could save money for our future. I was ready to accept someone as a life partner. 

Then a few years into my relationship with my husband I faced a major health crisis. He was there for me 100% and I knew I didn’t have to test out our relationship anymore – that he has my bad no matter what life threw our way.

Post # 23
Member
12 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: April 2020

I dont think people should get married until at least mid 20’s. So much change happens in our personalities and life goals. I dont take teenage engagements seriously

Post # 24
Member
214 posts
Helper bee

I got engaged in my early 20s and disagree with people saying all relationships at this age are too immature. We’ve been together for five and a half years, lived together, grown and changed alongside each other, and faced some very difficult times. I was diagnosed with a serious rare disease in our first year of dating and going through that, plus getting cancer two years ago, has made me sure we’re ready for marriage. We’re not only good together when life is easy, we’re good together when life is very tough, unglamorous, unsexy, not at all fun. 

I think it when they are the person you want to share the really good times, the really hard times and the normal everyday things with you’re ready. As long as in practice that works too!

My partner makes the good times (new jobs, papers getting published, celebrations) even better; he cares for me so well when I have been extremely unwell and honestly is what makes those bad times bearable; and he also makes the every day things (chores, daily life) a lot less ordinary and a lot more fun. 

I don’t understand why this is a less important or stable relationship than a couple who met in their 30s and got married a year later. I’m very aware I’m going to grow and change as a person and so is he, but that’s part of life at every age. If you honestly think you’re the same person with the same goals at 30 and 60 I’d be surprised.

Post # 25
Member
967 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2019

When I got married the first time it was for all the wrong reasons; I knew it too but I was desperate, scared, and had very low self-esteem . I just wanted to be married for the sake of being married. I was engaged at 22, married at 23, and my ex was almost 11 year older than me. Ultimately, our goals for life were very, very different and something that just couldn’t be over come. While I had the best of intentions, I knew that it wouldn’t work out, but couldn’t let the idea of marriage/wedding go. I think it is common pattern for young women. 

This time around it’s a complete 180. I knew I loved my FH and wanted to be with him because I didn’t need to be with him, I wanted to be with him. Our goals in life are very inline with one another and there is a respect that I didn’t know was necessary when I was younger. Of course we are human and struggle to communicate at times especially when life is difficult but we work at it and want it to be better for both of us. This how I knew I was ready, that we are ready for marriage. This time I am engaged at 34, I will be married at 35. My FH is 31 and will be 32 when we get married. 

For me it was most likely an age thing and I believe there is something to be said about “sowing wild oats”. I don’t think it’s required but most people need to have experiences to gain wisdom. It sounds like you’re growing up and know yourself better now than when you were boucning around (which is totally okay!). The fact that you’re even questioning it says that you’re mature and thoughtful and understand marriage is a big deal. It sounds like you’re on the right track! 

Post # 26
Member
835 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

View original reply
lauraspencer :  We were 24/25 and one night (3 months into dating), he told me he loved me for the first time and I told him I wanted to marry him. He wanted it too! We spent the next few months making that happen. Premarital counseling, relocation (LDR problems) and career changes. We didn’t get engaged until after I was settled into the new job.

Being ready for marriage is something that you decide and it shouldn’t matter what your current circumstances are, so long as you continue working on them together. Sure I would have loved to clear my credit card debt, run a marathon and get into grad school before we got married, but we weren’t going to be happy waiting for things like that. 

Both partners are capable of making the mature decision whether or not they are ready. There is no magical formula for this. If a partner is dragging on with this, they aren’t ready and they could have many reasons why. They have to decide whether or not things need to be settled before marriage. This takes a lot of communication if they wish to be marriage driven in the future and requires patience, compassion and support from the other partner. 

Post # 27
Member
1786 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

I realized that I was ready for marriage when I met someone that proved my expectations were not too high. The absolute minute he said “I will become a Catholic for you” I burst into tears because I knew that no one else in the entire world would do something like that for me. I could actually see myself marrying this man. It just felt so right when he chuckled at my tears and took me into his arms. At the time, he was 23 and I was 24. And he hadn’t even proposed yet!

Having no debt and both of us agreeing on wanting children one day kinda sealed the deal as well, lol. We will be 25/26 when we get married 🙂

Post # 28
Hostess
3985 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

View original reply
hikingbride :  I love seeing your posts on these topics since we share a very similar story!

OP, D.H. and I started dating at 18, got engaged at 26, and married at 27.  Like PP, we focused on just enjoying our relationship and were fortunate to grow together, rather than apart.  We both talked about getting married like it was a given for us from very early on, and when I asked when he saw us getting married (I think we were about 22/23 at the time) he said 27, which seemed completely random and far away at the time but ended up being exactly right!  We both were in grad school until 24/25, so I think getting a year of “real life” under our belts and living together was when we both knew we really were ready. 

We saw a lot of our college friends break up, so we knew we didn’t want to rush into marriage.  Knowing that we could both live apart (we were in an LDR during grad school), be independant, and still come back to each other was really important for us both to realize that this could succeed in the long term.  

Post # 29
Member
1836 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

But what if we’re just young and dumb and don’t know anything? …. This made me smile a bit because at your age….you are exactly that! (no offence intended)  Dear bee….none of us know everything, we just stay on the planet long enough to learn stuff as it will be with you.  Change only happens when you are open to it and change is neither good or bad so don’t be afraid of the prospect of you or your Fiance changing after marriage…..accept that its GOING TO HAPPEN!

There are no guarantees and while I completely get your fears (we all have those fears btw), you can’t let your life be ruled by them.  All you can do is be your best you and never stop doing that.

Post # 30
Member
1836 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

So for me (I’m an older bee)  I’m recently married for the first time at 47.  I spent my 20’s convinced I was never getting married and spent my 30’s wasting my time on a man who never had any intention of committing to me and it ended when HE ended it.  I learned that it wasn’t just me, that if I don’t get needs met in a relationship then I need to walk away from it.  I learned not to settle for substandard treatment and feel like its the best I was gonna get.  I learned to get brutally honest with myself.  I learned so much that it made me open to a guy I normally wouldn’t have given the time of day to.  I also learned that therapy is an incredible tool to help you move through these occurrences…to help you keep perspective.  

So I knew…..within the first weeks of this new relationship that he was the one.  I was 100% myself with him, he made me feel safe to do that….. I was ready.

 

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